Disability, General, Retirement, SSI, Survivors

Reporting Changes is Your Responsibility

December 10, 2015 • By

Last Updated: August 19, 2021

a picture of a hand on a laptop keyboard. If you receive benefits from Social Security, you have a legal obligation to report changes, which could affect your eligibility for disability, retirement, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. You must report any changes that may affect your benefits immediately, and no later than 10 days after the end of the month in which the change occurred.

Changes you need to report range from a change of address to traveling outside the United States for 30 consecutive days. To get a list of reporting responsibilities under disability, please read our publication What You Need to Know When You get Social Security Disability Benefits, and for SSI, read What You Need to Know When You Get Supplemental Security Income. If you’re receiving retirement benefits, What You Need to Know When You Get Retirement or Survivors Benefits is also helpful.

Life changes can affect your benefits. You may be due additional payments, or you may be overpaid and have to pay us back because you didn’t report the overpayment in a timely manner. The SSI program may apply a penalty that will reduce your benefits if you fail to report a change, or if you reported the change later than 10 days after the end of the month in which the change occurred. If you fail to report changes in a timely way, or if you intentionally make a false statement, we may stop your SSI, disability, and retirement benefits. We may also impose a sanction against your payments. The first sanction is a loss of payments for six months. Subsequent sanctions are for 12 and 24 months.

You can report your change online at www.socialsecurity.gov, or by calling toll free at 1-800-772-1213. If you’re deaf or hearing-impaired call TTY 1-800-325-0778. Mail the information to your local Social Security office or in person if you prefer. If you receive SSI, you should ask about our options to use the automated toll-free SSI Telephone Wage Reporting Service or the free SSI Mobile Wage Reporting Smartphone app.

If you receive benefits and need to change your address or direct deposit, you can conveniently do so by creating a my Social Security account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.

Get the right check, in the right amount, at the right time, by reporting changes right away!


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About the Author

Deputy Commissioner, Office of Communications

Comments

  1. Sherry J.

    I currently receive Disability Benefits. I turn 65 in 2 months. What do I need to do, if anything, to transfer over from Disability to Retirement Benefits? I went on the SSA/myaccount, logged in thinking I need to update my account? I could not find anything.
    Thank you

    • Vonda

      Hi Sherry, thanks for using our blog. When you receive disability benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program, we will automatically convert your disability benefits to retirement benefits, when you attain your Full Retirement Age. The benefit amount will generally remain the same. We hope this helps!

  2. BRENDA E.

    I have been divorced for 2 years and I am receiving Spousal Support payments from my ex. Is Spousal support considered income that should be reported to Social Security? I would like to apply for benefits based on my ex-spouse’s work record.

    • Vonda

      Hi Brenda, thanks for using our blog. Spousal support income does not affect Social Security benefits. If you are divorced, you may be able to receive benefits based on your ex-spouse’s record (even if they have remarried) if:

      – The marriage lasted 10 years or longer.
      – You’re unmarried.
      – You’re age 62 or older.
      – The benefit that you’re entitled to receive based on your own work is less than the benefit you would receive based on your ex-spouse’s work.
      – Your ex is entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits.

      Check out our Benefits For Your Divorced Spouse web page for more information.

  3. Jackie

    I am 66 Can I still work full time and received my Social Security also. Or do I have to stop or work part time to receive my full Social Security?

    • Vonda

      Hi Jackie, thanks for using our blog. You can get Social Security retirement or survivors benefits and work at the same time. However, there is a limit to how much you can earn and still receive full benefits. The amount you’re allowed to earn while receiving benefits depends on your age. If you attain full retirement age in 2021, the earnings limit is $50,520 but we only count earnings before the month you reach full retirement age. Beginning with the month you reach full retirement age, earnings no longer reduce your benefits, no matter how much you earn. If you’re under full retirement age for the entire year, then we deduct $1 from benefit payments for every $2 earned above the annual limit. For 2021, that limit is $18,960.

      Visit our Receiving Benefits While Working web page for more details.

  4. Dean a.

    I live over seas and i want to change my home address how

    • Vonda

      Hi Dean, thanks for using our blog. We recommend that individuals living outside the United States contact the nearest Federal Benefit Unit in the area for any assistance related to Social Security programs and benefits. Also, our Office of International Operations home page provides more information to assist our customers living abroad.

  5. Connie J.

    I receive Social Security Disability, My disability is a brain injury in 2006 Last year I was diagnosed with Cancer. Should I report this to Social Security.

    • Vonda

      Thank you for your question, Connie. We are very sorry to hear about your recent diagnosis. We do not base your Social Security benefit amount on the severity of your disability. We base it on your average lifetime earnings before your disability began. The additional diagnosis does not need to be reported as you’ve already been approved. We hope this helps!

  6. Donna

    If I start drawing my SS at age 62 (which will give me $521 a month), when my spouse starts to draw his at his age of 62 or 63 (which would be about $2300 a month), can I re-apply to adjust mine to estimated 1/2 of his? Or am I locked in to my own (which is significant less). We’ve been married over 27 years.

    • Vonda

      Hi Donna, thanks for using our blog to ask your questions. If you qualify for a retirement benefit from your own work history you can file for that benefit as early as age 62. You cannot receive additional spouse’s benefits unless your spouse is receiving their retirement benefits (except for divorced spouses).

      If you took your reduced retirement first while waiting for your spouse to apply, your own retirement portion remains reduced. When you add spouse’s benefits later, the total retirement and spouses benefit together will total less than 50 percent of the worker’s amount. You can find out more about this at our Benefits for Spouses web page.

  7. Kay S.

    I need to change my mailing address.
    Why do you make it so difficult? Also,
    who can wait one hour to speak to the
    SS rep…..

    • Vonda

      Hi Kay, thanks for using our blog. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions web page for details on how to change your address. If you’re unable to do it online, you can call your local Social Security office. Look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

      • Eugene W.

        How long does it take after you have called the local office for the address change to appear on my Medicare account?

        • Vonda

          Hi Eugene, thanks for using our blog. Medicare uses the name and address you have on file with Social Security. Once your information is changed with Social Security, your Medicare account will also reflect the change. We hope this helps!

  8. Deborah M.

    I am drawing my ss. I retired at age 62 yrs 4 mos. since then I have become disabled. I have drawn my ss less than 1 year. Can my status be changed to disabled?

    • Lucille H.

      If my spouse gets unemployment will that affect my sis?

      • Sue

        Happy new year, Lucille, and thanks for your question. If you’re receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), state unemployment benefits are considered unearned income. If you, your spouse, or a child living in your household have any income other than your SSI payment, including unemployment, you must tell us. You’ll find the phone and fax numbers for your local office using our Office Locator. Our call volume and wait times are longer than normal, so please be patient.

        To learn more about SSI and how income affects your payment, read What You Need to Know When You Get Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

        Unemployment benefits do not affect or reduce Social Security retirement and disability benefits. If your husband receives Social Security benefits, they may reduce his unemployment compensation. He should contact his state unemployment office for information on how your state applies the reduction.

  9. Trina

    I have a voluntary federal tax withholding amount and I need to change that amount to 0.0
    How do I do that? This is on my ssa check.

  10. Neill S.

    I signed up to start receiving my SSI in jan 2021, I would like to cancel my benefits until I reach full retirement age. I’m unable to log in to my account online??? any sugestions, Thank you.

    • Vonda

      Hi Neill, thanks for using our blog. If you apply for Social Security benefits and you change your mind about when they should start, you may be able to withdraw your Social Security claim and re-apply at a future date. However, if you change your mind 12 months or more after you became entitled to retirement benefits, you cannot withdraw your application. Also, keep in mind that you must repay all the benefits that you and your family received.

      For more information, check out our Withdrawing your Social Security Retirement Application web page. We hope this is helpful.

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